MPA Watch is a citizen science monitoring program that trains volunteers to observe and collect data about coastal and marine resource use inside and outside marine protected areas (MPAs). Volunteers use standardized protocols to collect relevant, scientifically rigorous, and broadly accessible data.

Data are meant to inform the management, enforcement, and science of California's marine protected areas, and allow us to track how the public uses coastal areas.

By involving local communities in this MPA monitoring, MPA Watch programs inspire and empower stewardship, and educate the public about California’s ocean ecosystems.

Learn more about the history of MPA Watch, Marine Protected Areas, and why MPAs are important for California.

Get involved by finding the volunteer program nearest you.